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  1. #1
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    The Boston Comet - Editorial

    I submitted this to NYYFans.com but never got a response. I think it's pretty good, though a bit outdated now. I'd hate for it to go to waste. So...

    Playing the part of the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 postseason: The New York Yankees.

    The first step on the road to recovery is acceptance. Yankees fans need to swallow their pride and accept that this year the tables were turned. This was the year the Yankees choked, and boy did they ever, and the Red Sox won.

    The second step on the road to recovery is optimism. Itís now our turn to take solace in the mantra: thereís always next year. But rather than examine what this means for the Yankees, letís take a look at what this means for the Red Sox.

    If there was ever a team of destiny, it is these Boston Red Sox. After coming back from a 0-3 deficit in the ALCS, an achievement that if you donít by now know the significance of youíve been living under a rock, for the Red Sox not to win the World Series would have been beyond tragic. Had Boston somehow lost to the Cardinals, that amazing, record setting comeback against the Yankees would have been reduced to an unfortunate footnote in the record books next to another disappointing season of ultimate futility.

    But, instead the Red Sox are the world champions. As a Yankee fan, thatís a phrase that leaves a sour taste on my tongue. But itís a phrase that begs the question: now what? The Red Sox find themselves in the unfamiliar position of having to defend their World Series title.

    Without the Curse to fall back on, without ghosts to blame, the Red Sox are now just another major league baseball franchise with deep pockets and ruthless management hell-bent on winning (sound familiar?), and when Boston fails to win now they wonít be the loveable losers of the past. If it takes the Red Sox 86 more years to win another World Series title does this one lose some of its luster? In many ways, yes, and thatís the point. With the Curse finally broken, the Red Sox will be expected stay competitive. Thereís no doubt in my mind that John Henry, Larry Lucchino, and Theo Epstein are up to the challenge, but in many ways the burden to win is a lot heavier now. It is no longer just a hope--itís a demand.

    If thereís one thing this Red Sox team proved, itís that pitching wins World Series rings, and you can bet the Empire took note. In fact, a lot of teams took note. For the first time since 1918 the Red Sox are the team everyone will be gunning for, and staying on top is no easy task.

    So congratulations to the 2004 Boston Red Sox, but remember that your encore will perhaps be more important than your opening act, no matter how spectacular it was.
    Personally, Iím hoping the World Champion Red Sox are a lot like a comet, a rare and beautiful occurrence that happens once in a lifetime. And by my calculations, the Red Sox Comet wonít be blazing through New England with another ring until 2090.
    Hmm... I guess it WAS a bit short...

    Comments welcome. (Oh, I should mention that I originally wrote this with the Providence Journal--hometown paper--in mind. This is Red Sox country... so I was making sure no one wanted to lynch me because of this.)
    Josh Catone

  2. #2
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    To mods: Thanks for moving this. I couldn't figure out what the apporiate forum was.
    Josh Catone

  3. #3
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    Are you sure the one thing this Red Sox team proved was that pitching wins championships? I mean, we hear it every year, but it seems to me that Boston's most reliable attribute was a strong offense in Damon, Bellhorn, Ramirez, Ortiz, and so on. Yes, the Yankee pitching failed to stop them scoring in the last few games - but by the same token, the bats failed to score enough runs too. And I point again to Anaheim's very unimpressive starting staff in 2002 as a counter-example.

    Balance wins championships, in my opinion. Balance and a significant slice of luck. The Red Sox had pitching, hitting, defense, and some luck. Then they won. I think your article could be improved (and lengthened!) if you explain that statement, because it's really the key to what the other 29 teams, in your opinion, should be doing. Otherwise, it seems like you're just throwing out a truism without actually demonstrating it satisfactorily. As it stands, you just say it without any proof, then don't follow it up at all. I'm not saying that you should ditch your opinion and adopt mine; only that yours needs context.

    Just constructive criticism, of course. Interesting piece; I like the comet metaphor.

    Be seeing you,

    Saxmania
    Mayonnaise is a demanding master.

  4. #4
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    I agree, you need a balance. What I was getting at was that pitching is more important than offense, and I'll stand by that.

    The Yankees and Cardinals both had offenses as potent as the Red Sox. In a lot of ways, so did the Angels, for that matter. What all of thsoe teams lacked, and what Boston had, was pitching.

    The Boston bullpen was phenomenal for an 8 game stretch. And we all know what Schilling, Lowe, Pedro, and even Arroyo did.

    Pitching was the difference maker. You can win a championship when you're like on offense, but you need pitching.

    Then again, maybe I'm wrong, the 2003 Marlins were out hit and out pitched by the Yankees. Maybe it's just luck.

    But the Red Sox did make every other team in baseball, especially the Yankees, scramble for pitching. Sure the Yankees would have gone after pitching anyway, but the Red Sox sort of drove home that point.

    Thanks for the reply.
    Josh Catone

  5. #5
    "Of course it's hard. If it was easy, anybody could do it. HARD is what makes it GREAT." - Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own"

    "My favorite ring? The NEXT one." - Tom Brady

    Just because some (SOME) fans blamed the "curse" doesn't mean the players, FO or ownership did. As Mike Timlin said, there ain't no curse. And as Keith Foulke said, "you can take that curse and stick it where the sun don't shine."

    Of course the Red Sox expect to stay competitive. You think they're going to rest on their laurels? Heavens, no. This is just the beginning. They have a franchise just down the road that's blazed the trail, in more ways than one, demonstrating the wisdom of team togetherness, taking games one at a time, and staying hungry. Two Super Bowl victories, anyone?

    And as for pitching being critical, that's Baseball 101. The Sox didn't need to impart that lesson to anyone.

    No running in place for Red Sox Nation. This ain't no aberration.

  6. #6
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    Naw, I was saying that now if they lose the media and their fans won't just say, "Oh, it's the Curse again." Now the Red Sox have more pressure to win, in a lot of ways. They're no longer expected to choke, they're expected to win.

    The Curse is over, the rivarly has begun (as one of the NYYFans.com writers put it).
    Josh Catone

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't say they have more pressure to win at all. If anything, the "Curse" added the weight of unjustified pressure that is gone now. But the real point is, once the teams take the field on opening day, none of it matters anymore. It's another year.
    I want to make babies with Philip Hughes.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by reelbiggecko
    I wouldn't say they have more pressure to win at all. If anything, the "Curse" added the weight of unjustified pressure that is gone now. But the real point is, once the teams take the field on opening day, none of it matters anymore. It's another year.
    See, I disagree. The Curse was a safety net for Boston fans and media. Now they don't have any scapegoats, if they lose, they're losers--that's it. They're expected to win now. I think the pressure of defending a World Series ring is more than winning your first (which, since it's been 86 years, for all intents and purposes let's call it their first--it was for most fhe Red Sox players).
    Josh Catone

  9. #9
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    The Curse was a scapegoat to some fans, but certainly not to the players, the coaches, the front office. You think it made them feel better to think that the reason they were losing was thanks to Harry Frazee? I agree that the media and fans constantly fell back on it, but that doesn't affect the players on the field that are the ones who the pressure affects, so I don't think it will really change anything.
    I want to make babies with Philip Hughes.

  10. #10
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    I think you might still be missing my point. The point isn't that the absense of "The Curse" adds or removes pressure on the players to win. What it does is mean is that the media and fans (many of them, at least) will be putting more pressure on the Sox to win now (or perhaps more accurately they will be harder on the Sox if they lose--which creates more pressure as a result).

    As an aside: I'm a Yankee fan in Rhode Island and I am not looking forward to the taunting I'm going to get wearing my NY hat around next year. Though, I will say that I wore my Yankees hat with pride after the ALCS collapse and most of the Red Sox fans I bumped into said they respected me for doing that (which was nice).
    Josh Catone

  11. #11
    Attorney at Bird Law Bronson'sCornrows's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Saxmania
    Are you sure the one thing this Red Sox team proved was that pitching wins championships? I mean, we hear it every year, but it seems to me that Boston's most reliable attribute was a strong offense in Damon, Bellhorn, Ramirez, Ortiz, and so on...
    I think this is further evidenced by the complete futility of Damon and Bellhorn in the first three games. Once they started going, the Sox started going. Of course, one could also argue that the pitching was awful in two of those three games. I wouldn't really say balance wins championships, but I would say a balanced team is considerably more likely to win than a team where all or most of the strong talent is concentrated in one area.

  12. #12
    Originally posted by Bleys
    I think you might still be missing my point. The point isn't that the absense of "The Curse" adds or removes pressure on the players to win. What it does is mean is that the media and fans (many of them, at least) will be putting more pressure on the Sox to win now (or perhaps more accurately they will be harder on the Sox if they lose--which creates more pressure as a result).

    As an aside: I'm a Yankee fan in Rhode Island and I am not looking forward to the taunting I'm going to get wearing my NY hat around next year. Though, I will say that I wore my Yankees hat with pride after the ALCS collapse and most of the Red Sox fans I bumped into said they respected me for doing that (which was nice).
    No offense, but I think you're way off. The pressure is gone. No more curse talk, "1918" or 86 years in the discussion.

    Of course I want the Red Sox to win it again....and again. However, to think the pressure is now greater is a Yankee fan talking without regard for the mindset is in Red Sox Nation..

  13. #13
    Originally posted by Bleys
    I think you might still be missing my point. The point isn't that the absense of "The Curse" adds or removes pressure on the players to win. What it does is mean is that the media and fans (many of them, at least) will be putting more pressure on the Sox to win now (or perhaps more accurately they will be harder on the Sox if they lose--which creates more pressure as a result).

    As an aside: I'm a Yankee fan in Rhode Island and I am not looking forward to the taunting I'm going to get wearing my NY hat around next year. Though, I will say that I wore my Yankees hat with pride after the ALCS collapse and most of the Red Sox fans I bumped into said they respected me for doing that (which was nice).
    I don't buy any of this. I do buy that you're a Yankee fan in RI. But suggesting that the media will put more pressure on the Sox is a joke. The media has been relentless BECAUSE the team failed so much. It's going to be a lot harder for the media to go after Epstein or too many others involved including Francona. They have a free pass for a while just as Belichick has earned in NE. In any case, you are confusing Sox fans with Yankees fans and your frame of reference is poor. Red Sox fans, unlike Yankees fans don't EXPECT championships every year. I almost laugh that Yankee fans go after Joe Torre like they do or want to dump Posada. It's funny stuff. I'll survive if somehow the Patriots lose a playoff game or the Sox don't make it back to the WS.

    As for you being the victim of taunting by Red Sox fans, I wouldn't worry about it. It would seem pretty stupid of Sox fans to taunt NY fans when the Sox have won 1 championship that we can remember while the Yankees seem to win on a semi-regular basis.

    By the way, most real fans don't believe in "curses". That's a joke to sell books by Dan Shaughnessy. The "curse" as you would like to believe as a NY fan is merely a history of bad (and racist) management and inadequate pitching.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Bleys
    I think you might still be missing my point. The point isn't that the absense of "The Curse" adds or removes pressure on the players to win. What it does is mean is that the media and fans (many of them, at least) will be putting more pressure on the Sox to win now (or perhaps more accurately they will be harder on the Sox if they lose--which creates more pressure as a result).

    As an aside: I'm a Yankee fan in Rhode Island and I am not looking forward to the taunting I'm going to get wearing my NY hat around next year. Though, I will say that I wore my Yankees hat with pride after the ALCS collapse and most of the Red Sox fans I bumped into said they respected me for doing that (which was nice).
    No I get your point fine, but the fact of the matter is the media put absolutely enormous amounts of pressure on the Sox anyways, so I don't really see how it's possible for there to be much more. Just because they hadn't won for 86 years, doesn't mean there wasn't an enormous expectation from fans and the media alike to win it, especially with their payroll.

    As for the Yankees fan in RI, I've been a Yankees fan living just over the RI-MA border for 11 years now, it ain't no biggie. They were never that good at insults anyways.
    I want to make babies with Philip Hughes.

  15. #15
    Once every 86 years, like a comet? That sounds suspiciously like a curse.

    It makes you wonder who believed (or wanted to believe) in the curse more, Sox fans or Yankee fans. And I wonder who is more afraid now that it's gone.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by Bleys


    See, I disagree. The Curse was a safety net for Boston fans and media. Now they don't have any scapegoats, if they lose, they're losers--that's it.
    &po'd& That is a completely ignorant statement about our fans. You are another one of the naive who got sucked into the Curse b.s. The VAST majority of Red Sox fans - VAST majority!!! - never believed in a curse. Only a minority of bandwagon fans, plus the lazy media who couldn't write anything more intelligent, were Curse followers. It was a marketing and media-driven cliche that all of us were so sick of hearing.

    A safety net? Hardly. We are glad it is gone forever. Now we can follow our team, root for it every year, and not hear from yahoos like you who STILL keep trying to use it as a basis for self-applauding little articles.

    I'm not usually this blunt, but you wanted an honest opinion. And my opinion is that you are looking for someone to pat you on the back for writing a cliche-driven piece of fluff. It won't be me. :rolleyes:
    The Boston Red Sox - World Series Champions

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by stevethesoxfan


    &po'd& That is a completely ignorant statement about our fans. You are another one of the naive who got sucked into the Curse b.s. The VAST majority of Red Sox fans - VAST majority!!! - never believed in a curse. Only a minority of bandwagon fans, plus the lazy media who couldn't write anything more intelligent, were Curse followers. It was a marketing and media-driven cliche that all of us were so sick of hearing.

    :
    I will never understand how anyone feels that they have the power to speak for the "vast majority".

  18. #18
    Originally posted by stevethesoxfan
    &po'd& That is a completely ignorant statement about our fans. You are another one of the naive who got sucked into the Curse b.s. The VAST majority of Red Sox fans - VAST majority!!! - never believed in a curse. Only a minority of bandwagon fans, plus the lazy media who couldn't write anything more intelligent, were Curse followers. It was a marketing and media-driven cliche that all of us were so sick of hearing.

    A safety net? Hardly. We are glad it is gone forever. Now we can follow our team, root for it every year, and not hear from yahoos like you who STILL keep trying to use it as a basis for self-applauding little articles.
    It was more of a layer of protection from the rest of the baseball world than it was a safety net for yourselves.

    One or two more years go by and soon whenever you walk away from a three game sweep of KC or Toronto you'll hear the quiet, unplaceable whispers about how you have such a monster payroll, about how you bought your championship, and how you are killing baseball. They won't give a damn that the Yankees have a whole $30-$40 million more than you when you are $60-$90 million above them. See that isn't as loveable as a "curse." These thoughts will be shared by the vast majority of baseball fans.

    But of course you Redsox fans will say that all that talk about high payroll "buying" or "being bad" for anything is a bunch of B.S. You'll counter with arguments about how money doesn't guarantee wins, you'll point to your home-grown contracts, and you'll say your team is mearly "giving back" to it well deserving, loyal fan base.

    And we, as Yankee fans... will be right there supporting you.
    Welcome to our curse.
    "Have faith in the Yankees my son. Think of the great DiMaggio."
    --Santiago, from "The Old Man and the Sea"

  19. #19
    Originally posted by Bleys


    The Yankees and Cardinals both had offenses as potent as the Red Sox.

    Not true. The Sox had a deeper lineup. They got on base more. They scored more runs. They had the best lineup in baseball.

  20. #20
    Originally posted by RedGlare

    It was more of a layer of protection from the rest of the baseball world than it was a safety net for yourselves.

    One or two more years go by and soon whenever you walk away from a three game sweep of KC or Toronto you'll hear the quiet, unplaceable whispers about how you have such a monster payroll, about how you bought your championship, and how you are killing baseball. They won't give a damn that the Yankees have a whole $30-$40 million more than you when you are $60-$90 million above them. See that isn't as loveable as a "curse." These thoughts will be shared by the vast majority of baseball fans.

    But of course you Redsox fans will say that all that talk about high payroll "buying" or "being bad" for anything is a bunch of B.S. You'll counter with arguments about how money doesn't guarantee wins, you'll point to your home-grown contracts, and you'll say your team is mearly "giving back" to it well deserving, loyal fan base.

    And we, as Yankee fans... will be right there supporting you.
    Welcome to our curse.
    The Yankees will be spending a minimum 80-100 million more this year, if their FA wishes come true.

    It will still be NY as the Evil Empire in the eyes of the media and the fans.

  21. #21
    Sunny days ahead YankeePride1967's Avatar
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    Originally posted by NDBoston


    The Yankees will be spending a minimum 80-100 million more this year, if their FA wishes come true.

    It will still be NY as the Evil Empire in the eyes of the media and the fans.
    While that may be true, the Sox have that same rep outside of New England.
    Life is good!

  22. #22
    Originally posted by GoRocket


    While that may be true, the Sox have that same rep outside of New England.
    It's not what I hear from Cubs and White Sox fans.

  23. #23
    Sunny days ahead YankeePride1967's Avatar
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    Originally posted by NDBoston


    It's not what I hear from Cubs and White Sox fans.
    That probably has to do with the 1908. 1917 and 1918 lineage. I"m going by other forums and several letters to the Sporting News. I know a lot of Sox fans think they are representing small markets against the big bad Evil Empire when they have been referred to as Yankees, Jr. and are the highest paid team to ever win a World Series.
    Life is good!

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by yankeebot


    I will never understand how anyone feels that they have the power to speak for the "vast majority".
    Living and working and carousing with (all told) thousands of Red Sox fans over the years gives one an excellent indication.

    If, for instance, Arbitron can gauge the radio listening preferences of a market by surveying approx. 1/10 of 1 percent of the population, I think I can do the same. (FYI that figure isn't exaggerated, it is fact).
    The Boston Red Sox - World Series Champions

  25. #25
    Designated For Assignment burke615-RSN's Avatar
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    Originally posted by stevethesoxfan
    If, for instance, Arbitron can gauge the radio listening preferences of a market by surveying approx. 1/10 of 1 percent of the population, I think I can do the same. (FYI that figure isn't exaggerated, it is fact).
    Hey, this week, I'm part of that 1/10 of 1 percent! (For Arbitron, that is...) It's a shame I have only listened to the radio once in the whole week.

    I second STSF on this one: None of my co-workers who were Sox fans last year talked about The Curse, or believed in it. Only those who magically became Sox fans in late October this year ever said anything about The Curse. Of course, these are the same people saying, "Well, all Buckner had to do was catch the ball, and the Sox would have won in 1986." and "How will they blow it this time?" :rolleyes:

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